Griffin – For the second straight year, Jonesboro squandered a double-digit second-half lead against Griffin, which scored 13 fourth-quarter points and won 34-33 Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
No. 9 Jonesboro, bidding to beat Griffin for the first time since 1981, led 33-21 to start the fourth period, but Griffin quarterback Jaquez Parks tossed a pair of touchdown passes in the final period to give the Bears (3-0, 1-0 Region 4-AAAA Division B) the comeback win.
In a game riddled with penalties, Parks finished with 198 passing yards and three touchdowns for the Bears, including a 17-yard scoring strike to Darquavious Mangham with 5:32 left that proved to be the game-winner.
Patrick Petty scored on runs of 5, 1 and 41 yards for Jonesboro (2-1, 0-1), and Mario Atkinson passed for 214 yards and a touchdown.
Jonesboro opened the scoring on its first possession, moving 51 yards in 10 plays, capped by Atkinson’s 3-yard run. Atkinson’s pass on the two-point attempt was incomplete and Jonesboro led 6-0.
Griffin answered quickly. After a 35-yard kickoff return by Moses Mayes set the Bears up at the 50, they needed four plays to grab the lead on Malik Miller’s 30-yard run and Alexis Rivera’s extra point.
Three plays later Miller intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 26 yards for another score.
The Bears went up 21-6 on the first play of the second quarter, when Parks hit Jordan Colbert for a 52-yard touchdown.
Griffin tried an on-side kick that Jonesboro recovered, and the Cardinals capitalized, moving 48 yards in four plays. Cameron Sutton’s 33-yard run was the big play, and Sutton’s 5-yard run pulled the Cards within a touchdown.
The visitors from Clayton County pulled even on Petty’s fourth-down run from a yard out at the 7:00 mark in the second quarter.
The Cardinals had a chance to regain the lead in the waning seconds of the half, but a holding penalty wiped out a touchdown pass from Atkinson to Taurean Ferguson.
Petty’s third touchdown gave Jonesboro the lead and a 47-yard pass from Atkinson to Sutton late in the third period put the Cardinals up 33-21.
Griffin’s Jaquez Parks hit Devonta Freeman with a 24-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter to start the Bears’ comeback.